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5.4.20 - Guidance on Quarter 4 Grades

Guidance on Quarter 4 Grades

(released on 5/4/2020)  

Temporary grading procedures have been put in place for Quarter 4 and will remain in place for the remainder of the academic year.  

Quarter 4 began on Monday, April 20th and will extend to the end of the school year. The last day of instruction will be Wednesday, June 17th.

Due to the extended time out of school, the grade for Quarter 4 will be one of two options:   

  • Progressing (Pr) - There is Evidence of Learning

    or 
  • Not Progressing (NP) - The standards/skills are Not Yet Learned 

    *College credit bearing courses will continue to grade according to university guidelines.

Progressing:There is Evidence of Learning. A student is engaging in the learning and moving forward with their understanding of the content and/or acquisition of skills.  There is some evidence of learning of prioritized standards/compressed curriculum based on instruction provided.  

Not Progressing: The standards/skills are Not Yet Learned. A student has not yet completed work, or work completed does not demonstrate understanding of prioritized learning standards. Students will be given opportunities to redo/re-submit work to demonstrate learning.  

The goal is to have grades serve as a measure of learning.  It’s important to find ways to engage students in the work for more authentic reasons such as helping students see where this learning is beneficial to them now and in the future.  While this is ideal, we recognize grades often function as a motivational carrot or stick.  Teachers should remind students that Pr and NP will appear on their Quarter 4 report card and more importantly, the learning is essential for their future studies, college, and jobs.  

Individual Assignments during Q4  

Teachers will continue to prioritize NYS learning standards and cover essential curriculum as they provide instruction. The design of instruction, as well as any assignments, must align with the skill level of students of all age groups and abilities to the greatest extent possible. General education teachers who have special education students in their class will collaborate with special education teachers to ensure that instruction meets the needs of all students. 

Teachers will grade individual assignments in SchoolTool using:

  • Complete (C) 
  • Incomplete (I)
  • Teachers should use the code “I” for missing assignments, failing grades, or work that is in the process of being redone.  Once the student has demonstrated evidence of learning, “C” should be replaced with “I”

Students can earn a “complete”  through a variety of methods:   

  • completing and turning in assignments (including short and long-term projects)
  • sharing their understanding verbally or through digital methods (i.e., responding to questions posted in Google Classroom, exit tickets, journal entries, etc.)
  • taking both formative and summative assessments
  • self-assessment/evaluation

Due Dates

  • Due dates for assignments serve multiple purposes including helping the teacher manage the time it takes for a curriculum to be taught, helping students stay organized and learn time management, and indicating which students need help or may be struggling. 
  • Assignments not handed in will receive an “I” until they are completed and turned in. However, no zero’s will be given for a late assignment and students will have the opportunity to complete late assignments until the quarter ends. 

Student Engagement

For a successful fourth quarter, student participation is necessary. Students have the opportunity to participate in many ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • completing and turning in assignments via Google Classroom
  • attending a live Google Meet session led by the course/grade level teacher
  • sharing their understanding verbally or through digital methods (i.e., responding to questions posted in Google Classroom, exit tickets, journal entries, email , etc.)
  • taking both formative and summative assessments
  • self-assessment/evaluation

To help ensure equity, teachers are expected to follow up with individual students and/or families when a student is not logging into Google Classroom, participating in Google Meet sessions, or completing assigned work on a consistent basis during a given week.  

The first step is to be understanding, as family dynamics have changed and are very challenging for many.  Others may not yet be self-motivated and may benefit from individual support.   

Where students have not engaged at all after reaching out to the student multiple times, please contact the family to offer assistance.  Teachers are encouraged to use multiple methods of communication including, but not limited to, email, phone, reaching out to primary and emergency contacts, and mailing letters home.  

Where the student is participating occasionally, please continue to encourage the student’s participation and contact the family to offer support, where appropriate.  

If teachers are unable to make contact with students and/or families after repeated attempts, the building principal should be contacted and made aware of the situation.

The Future Impact of COVID-19 on Grades, Transcripts, and College & Career

We know that parents and students are concerned about grades and the impact this will have on their GPA, transcripts and applications to college. We want to assure our families and students that schools, at both the K-12 and the collegial levels, are adjusting their typical grading practices and policies during this unprecedented time.  

Our district has worked closely with the other school districts in our region to approach grading in a similar way. The NY State Education Department has exempted all students in good standing from Regents exams they intended to take in June 2020. Many colleges and universities have adjusted their own grading practices for the spring semester. Their admissions offices have expressed an understanding that high schools are also altering the way scores are reported for this spring and school year and have indicated that such changes should not negatively impact students’ college applications.